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Cablegate: Italy Accepts 46 African Migrants Rescued at Sea

VZCZCXRO6439
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHRO #1787 2331626
ZNR UUUXX ZZH
O 211626Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8806
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0951
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 0487
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA PRIORITY 0840
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 6340
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ROME 001787

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO INL/LP CDR PHIL WELZANT.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT MOPS PHSA PHUM PREF SMIG LY TS IS MT
SU, ET, GH, ER, IT
SUBJECT: ITALY ACCEPTS 46 AFRICAN MIGRANTS RESCUED AT SEA
BY U.S. NAVY

REF: A. SECSTATE 116313


1. (SBU) On August 20 Embassy Rome made an urgent request
per Secstate 116313 for assistance with the 46 African
migrants, rescued at sea by the U.S. Navy August 19 in
international waters 60 nautical miles off the coast of
Libya. The GOI decided late August 20 to take custody of the
migrants, who were transferred to two Italian Coast Guard
vessels the morning of August 21. End Summary.

2. (SBU) POLOFF delivered reftel points, stressing the
urgent humanitarian aspect, to MFA Chief of Staff to the
Director General for Italians Abroad and Migrants, Marjline
Armellin August 20. Armellin said she would take the matter
to MFA Vice Director General for Italians Abroad and
Migrants, Gioacchino Carlo Trizzino, and to the Ministry of
the Interior immediately and respond as soon as possible, and
certainly by COB.

3. (SBU) At 1800 local time, VDG Trizzino called Acting
Political Minister Counselor to say Italy was favorably
disposed to taking the migrants and requested contact
information for NAVEUR to coordinate logistics of the
transfer. At 2000 NAVEUR Battle Watch contacted poloff to
ask for a point of contact in the Italian Ministry of the
Interior since the GOI had not yet contacted NAVEUR. Poloff
provided NAVEUR with the contact information for MOI Prefetto
Beccaria. At 1000 on August 21, the 46 migrants were
transferred from the USS DONALD COOK to two Italian Coast
Guard vessels.

4. (SBU) The GOI has requested the USG maintain a passive
public affairs profile, but has not asked for any other
assistance or assurances from the USG.

5. (SBU) Comment. This exceptionally quick positive response
from the GOI on a sensitive issue was particularly noteworthy
for happening in the middle of the Italian holiday season.

6. (U) MINIMIZE CONSIDERED
End Comment.


SPOGLI

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